By Kyriacos Kyriacou – Nicosia
New evidence were revealed concering the rape and sex-trafficting case of underage girls in Cyprus. Four sex video tapes were found in 59-year old -well known- businessman Konstantinos Leykaritis’ house, containing footage of more young girls, some likely underage.
Investigators, who believe that the tapes were filmed by Leykaritis a few years ago, are in search for the girls to examine whether they are also victims of sex-trafficking and rape. The tapes were found after Leykaritis and his 35 year old friend Nicos Nicolaou were arrested under the accusations for kindnap, rape and sex – trafficking against two girls, 15 and 14 years old.
The two suspects, will remain in custody for another six days, police said yesterday. They are held in prison since May 1.The 35-year old is held at the Aradhippou police station while the businessman is under guard at Larnaca general hospital after claiming he felt ill. The remand hearing took place behind closed doors because the case involved minors. The case has caused a public shock in Cyprus during due to the serious offenses and the alleged involvement of Leykariits, who is considered a well known business figure, owner of gas stations around the island.
The case came to light after the 15-year-old reported the incident to police on April 30. Leykaritis and Nicolaou remanded for six days. The first girl had told police officers she met the 35-year-old on Facebook and arranged to meet with him. She was then kidnapped and taken to his apartment. She told police that she was beaten and raped by the 35-year -old, while given drugs. She also said that in the man’s apartment was a 14-year old girl asking to be paid for sexual services. The girl told police that the two men proceeded to have sex with both of them. The 15-year old girl’s testimony immediately prompted a five-day search for the other girl that ended on Sunday.The 14-year-old was found and corroborated the story by the 15-year-old, adding that she was forced into prostitution for over a year. The 14-year-old also accused the 35-year-old of causing her to become addicted to cocaine. During the investigation, cocaine and cannabis were found in the 35-year-old’s apartment.
New legislation for paedophiles
Meanwhile, House Legal Affairs Committee introduced a bill yesterday asking for the creation of a committee tasked with monitoring paedophiles that are released from prison. The bill prepared by left wing party AKEL MP Irene Charalambidou, also asks for the increase of penalties in cases of sexual crimes against minors.
Committee chairman, DISY MP Sotiris Sampson, told the press that it’s the state’s responsibility to protect children “and all those who, due to their age can’t protect themselves from these kinds of behaviour”. The bill has been sent to all competent government departments. Sampson asked them to return with their comments as soon as possible so the bill can be fast-tracked. All parliament parties are in support of the bill.